May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 14

WE ARE PARKS AND RECREATION
State of Play: What's in Demand in Today's
Playgrounds?
By Scott Roschi
T
here is perhaps no better refuge for kids from social media and
screen time than their local playground. And with today's bigger,
more colorful and more engaging playground equipment, kids
are enjoying richer play experiences than ever.
Communities are creating unique
play spaces they can claim as their
own and use to showcase their
identity and history.
But building the playgrounds that
people want isn't just about picking
equipment from a catalog. Communities
must consider how they can
create fun and unique spaces kids
want to come back to while addressing
the diverse needs of community
members. And, at the end of the day,
they're creating not only better playgrounds,
but also better communities.
Here are some of the things that
communities are trying to achieve
in their playgrounds today.
Spaces That Reflect
Their Communities
Communities are creating unique
play spaces they can claim as their
own and use to showcase their identity
and history. For example, Playground
Fantastico in Napa, California,
redefines community spaces
with its contemporary approach to
playground design by creating a vi14
Parks & Recreation | MAY 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
brant and engaging environment to
invite imagination and social connection.
The walking bridge that
connects two play towers at a new
playground in Peachtree Corners,
Georgia, recreates the pedestrian
bridge that recently was built above
a highway at the entrance to town.
Play spaces even are helping
shape the identities of communities
without central gathering spaces. In
Shoreview, Minnesota, a destination
playground was built on the same
campus as a library, community
center and other amenities, creating
a community-defining town center.
Taking Play to New Heights
Until about a decade ago, playground
equipment generally didn't exceed
eight feet. But today, communities
are asking for play structures that are
30 feet tall or higher. Skyscraper-like
towers and high-rising slides are
now signature elements at destination
playgrounds. These structures
also allow cities that have limited
footprints for parks to build up when
they can't build out.
Tall structures can incorporate a
variety of features that create more
opportunities for kids to play and
encounter challenges depending on
how much of a risk taker they are.
Materials like belting and netting
help keep play safe by creating a soft
surface for kids to land on if they lose
their grip. These structures also provide
social spaces with a bird's-eye
view, which can increase playground
participation for kids who might prefer
socializing over physical play.
Playgrounds Created
Through Collaboration
When people work together, they can
make play more accessible and even
reimagine what play can be. Sometimes
this collaboration is as simple
as equipment providers helping communities
get the most from their budget
and footprint - like with preconfigured
designs that maximize play
activities within a compact space.
In other cases, the collaboration
is more intimate. For instance, landscape
architects are working with
equipment designers and communities
to achieve a better marriage
of topography and play. This allows
communities to weave playgrounds
into and around trees, slopes and
other environmental features, creating
unique play spaces.
Inclusive play advocates also are
helping everyone, from playground
designers to city leaders, make play
more accessible. Together, they're
building playgrounds that can be
enjoyed by kids of all abilities. And,
they're closing " play deserts " and
making playgrounds more available
to historically underserved community
members.
Scott Roschi is Creative Director at
Landscape Structures, Inc. (scottroschi@
playlsi.com).
PHOTO COURTESY OF LANDSCAPE STRUCTURES, INC.

May 2024 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2024 - Parks & Recreation

May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 6
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 7
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 8
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 9
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 10
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 11
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 12
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 13
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 14
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 15
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 16
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 17
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 18
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 19
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 20
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 21
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 22
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 23
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 24
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 25
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 26
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 27
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 28
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 29
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 30
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 31
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 32
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 33
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 34
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 35
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 36
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 37
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 38
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 39
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 40
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 41
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 42
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 43
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 44
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 45
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 46
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 47
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 48
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 49
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 50
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 51
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 52
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 53
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 54
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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